I was curious this morning where God first made a promise with the words, "I will be with you." Quite early in the Bible, and it was a test of faith too. Isaac was living in the lands that would become Israel in the proper time, and he ran into another famine like Abraham did. However, this time the Lord told him to stay put.
Dwell in this land, and I will be with you and bless you; for to you and your descendants I give all these lands, and I will perform the oath which I swore to Abraham your father. (Gen 26:3)
'Stay there' may not be the command we want to hear from the Lord when things look tough. "This circumstance is likely to be the end of me; can I stay here, Lord?" is not a common prayer among those who believe in the Lord. Our first reaction to such things is usually to get up and move away. So common is this feeling that we even feel the urge to up and move when things look okay or even advantageous. What can change that feeling or urge is who we are here (or there) with.
Our friends in Christ can make all the difference when that urge to run comes over our quaking knees in a scary situation. We feel a loyalty, a kinship with our brothers and sisters in Christ. How much greater then is the comfort of the presence of our Savior when it looks tough outside and He says, "I will be with you."
Abraham faced famine by going down to Egypt, but to Isaac the word of the Lord when the famine came was to stay. When things are difficult, we may be told to go or to stay. The important part is that great promise from the Lord: I will be with you.Bucky